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John Holdren in his own 
(radical) words 

“De-develop” the U.S. & “reduce” its population? 

May 31, 2014, by CFACT Ed, 37 Comments 


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Did Obama science advisor Dr. John Holdren actually call for the 
American government to “de-develop” the U.S. and “reduce” its 

Yes, he did. 

Recalling Holdren’s radical prescription for 
America is particularly timely with EPA 
preparing for the Monday rollout of one of 
the most destructive and useless 
government policies in American history. 

EPA is preparing to severely limit CO2 
emissions from existing electrical power plants (the ones already paid 
for and operating). 

President Obama’s latest energy policy will increase electricity prices 
and whack business and 
family budgets right on 
their bottom lines. It will 
have no meaningful 
impact on the climate. It 
will certainly be cause for 
joy for European 
businesses whose 
government’s have already 
raised electricity prices too high to be competitive. 

It should also cause smiles in the capitals of developing nations like 
China and India where they are ramping up fossil fuel use as quickly as 
their means allow, and are more than delighted to produce the goods 
that the U.S. and Europe 
will no longer be able to 
afford to. 

The rise of such 
ideological driven, 
destructive policies 
certainly seem to be in 
line with Holdren’s call 
for “a much more 

EU and G7 Household Electricity Prices Including Taxes, 2011 

* <IW|c4 CW O g p t 

equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one,” writing that, 
“redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely 
essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.” 

It is also consistent with the calls for central planning, 
deindustrialization and redistribution made in the name of 
“sustainability” by the acolytes of UN Agenda 21 and the UN climate 
change agenda that goes with it. 

Holdren has tried to deny what he wrote, which has caused 
controversy and an ongoing war of words between the left-wing Media 
Matters and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. They call it a myth, but reading 
Holdren’s words in their full context, what does Media Matters think 
Holdren’s call for government to reduce population and de-develop 
means? It certainly smacks more of authoritarianism than 

Do John Holdren and Barack Obama actually believe that other 
nations will throttle their economies to fall in line with the American 
example? If the lessons of the past are too remote for them to absorb, 
they can look to recent history. Everywhere that the Obama foreign 
and military policies have adopted weakness, other nations have seen 
not inspiration, but opportunity. If you don’t want to take our word 
for it, in today’s information age the people of Ukraine, Afghanistan 
and Syria are but a phone call or email way. 

A U.S. energy policy designed to replace efficient, affordable, abundant 
electricity with expensive alternatives incapable of providing for the 
needs of the American economy is foolish and self-destructive. It 
defies any rational cost-benefit analysis even when factored through 
the climate computer models which the administration wants us to 
accept on faith, and which so far have proved inaccurate. 

This is not rational science or economics in the true sense of those 

Yesterday, Obama Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Press 
Secretary Jay Carney announced their resignations. Science advisor 
Holdren should do the nation a favor and join them. 

Read what John Holdren recommended as the “responsible” course 

for America’s future in his own words. 

Human Ecology: Problems 

& Solutions 

Read as PDF 

Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, & 

John Holdren 

Chapter TEN 

Synthesis and Recommendations 

[Page 277] 


To recapitulate, we would outline the present world situation as 

1. Considering present technology and patterns of human 
behavior, our planet is grossly overpopulated. Between 2 and 3 
billion people are not being properly cared for now. Under such 
circumstances, the contention of some that many more people can 
be easily and properly cared for in the near future is preposterous. 
When every human being has abundant and varied food, ade 
quate clothing and shelter, first-rate medical care, ample 
educational opportunity, and freedom from war and tyranny, then 
perhaps consideration of whether more people can be given first- 
class accommodation on Spaceship Earth will be appropriate. 

2. The large absolute number of people and the rate of 
population growth are themselves major hindrances to fulfilling 
the above-named needs of all of mankind. 

3. The limits of human capability to produce food by 
conventional means have very nearly been reached. Problems of 
supply and distribution already have resulted in roughly half of 
humanity being undernourished or malnourished. As many as 10- 
20 million people are starving to death annually. 

4. Attempts to increase food production further will tend to 
accelerate the deterioration of our environment, which in turn may 
eventually reduce the capacity of the Earth to produce food. It is 
not clear whether environmental decay has now gone so far as to 
be essentially irreversible; it is possible that [Page 278] the 
capacity of the planet to support human beings has been 
permanently impaired. 

5. There is good reason to believe that population growth 
increases the probability of a lethal worldwide plague and of a 
thermonuclear war. Either could provide a catastrophic “death- 
rate solution” to the population problem; each is potentially 
capable of destroying civilization and even of driving Homo 
sapiens to extinction. 

6. Perhaps more likely than extinction is the possibility that 
man will survive only to endure an existence barely recognizable 
as human-malnourished, beset by chronic disease, physically and 
emotionally impoverished, surrounded by the devastation wrought 
by an industrial civilization that could not cope with the results of 

its own biological and social folly. 

7. There are no simple answers to these threats, no 

technological panaceas for the complex of problems comprising 
the population-food-environment crisis. Of course, technology, 
properly applied in such areas as pollution abatement, 
communications, and fertility control, can provide valuable 
assistance. But the essential solutions entail dramatic and rapid 
changes in human attitudes, especially those relating to 
reproductive behavior, economic growth, technology, the 
environment, and resolution of conflicts. 

Recommendations: A Positive Program 

Although our conclusions are necessarily rather pessimistic, we wish to 
emphasize our belief that the problems can be solved. Whether they 
will be solved is another question. A general course of action that we 
feel will have some chance of ameliorating the results of the current 
crisis is outlined below. Many of the suggestions will seem 
“unrealistic,” and indeed that is how we view them. But the world has 
been allowed to run downhill for so long that only idealistic and very 
far-reaching programs offer any hope for the future. 

1 Population control is absolutely essential if the problems now 
facing mankind are to be solved. It is not, however, a panacea. If 
population growth were halted immediately, virtually all other 
human problems-poverty, racial tensions, urban blight, 
environmental decay, warfare-would remain. On the other hand, 
direct attacks on these problems will ultimately fail if the human 
population continues to grow. The situation is best summarized in 
the statement: “Whatever your cause, it’s a lost cause without 
population control.” 

2 Political pressure must be applied immediately to induce the 

United States government to assume its responsibility to halt the 

growth of the American population. Once growth is halted, the 

government should undertake to influence the birth rate so that 

|e| population is reduced to an optimum size and maintained 

there. It is essential that a grassroots political movement be [Page 
279] generated to convince our legislators and the executive 
branch of the government that they must act promptly. The 
program should be based on what politicians understand best- 
votes. Presidents, Congressmen, Senators, and other elected 

officials who do not deal effectively with the crisis must be 
defeated at the polls, and more intelligent and responsible 
candidates must be elected. It is unfortunate that at the time of the 
greatest crisis the United States and the world have ever faced, 
many Americans, especially the young, have given up hope that the 
government can be modernized and changed in direction through 
the functioning of the elective process. Their despair may have 
some foundation, but we see no choice but to launch a prolonged 
and determined attempt to wrest control of the political system 
from the special interests which now run it and to turn it over to 
the people. 

A massive campaign must be launched to restore a high- 

quality environment in North America and to de-develop the 

United States. De-development means bringing our economic 

system (especially patterns of consumption) into line with the 

realities of ecology and the global resource situation. Resources 
and energy must be diverted from frivolous and wasteful uses in 
overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of 
underdeveloped countries. This effort must be largely political, 
especially with regard to our overexploitation of world resources, 
but the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and 
boycott action against polluters and others whose activities 
damage the environment. The need for de-development presents 
our economists with a major challenge. They must design a stable, 
low-consumption economy in which there is a much more 
equitable distribution of wealth than in the present one. 
Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is 
absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every 
human being. 

4 Once the United States has clearly started on the path of 
cleaning up its own mess, it can then turn its attention to the 
problems of the de-development of the other DCs, population 
control, and ecologically feasible development of the UDCs. It 
must use every peaceful means at its disposal to persuade the 
Soviet Union and other DCs to join the effort, in line with the 
general proposals of Lord Snow and Academician Sakharov. 

5 Perhaps the major necessary ingredient that has been 
missing from a solution to the problems of both the United States 
and the rest of the world is a goal, a vision of the kind of Spaceship 

Earth that ought to be and the kind of crew that should man her. 
Society has always had its visionaries who talked of love, beauty, 
peace, and plenty. But somehow the “practical” men have always 
been there to praise smog as a sign of progress, to preach “just” 
wars, and to restrict love while giving hate free rein. It must be one 
of the greatest ironies of the history of the human species that the 
only salvation for the practical men now lies in what they think of 
as the dreams of idealists. The question now is: can the self- 
proclaimed “realists” be persuaded to face reality in time? 

CFACT Insights, Sources 

Economics ► Environmentalism ► Holdren ► obama ► population ► 
Population growth ► 

About the Author: CFACT